Aurel Stodola

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Aurel Stodola
Auguste Stodola.jpg
Aurel Stodola
Born(1859-05-10)10 May 1859
Liptovský Mikuláš, Kingdom of Hungary
(today: Liptovský Mikuláš, Slovakia)
Died25 December 1942(1942-12-25) (aged 83)
Zürich, Switzerland
Resting placeLiptovský Mikuláš, Slovakia
ResidenceHungary, Czechoslovakia, Switzerland
EducationBudapest University of Technology and Economics
Known for
  • technical thermodynamics
  • gas turbine-powered electric generator

Aurel Boleslav Stodola (10 May 1859 – 25 December 1942) was a Slovak engineer, physicist, and inventor. He was a pioneer in the area of technical thermodynamics and its applications and published his book Die Dampfturbine (the steam turbine) in 1903. In addition to the thermodynamic issues involved in turbine design the book discussed aspects of fluid flow, vibration, stress analysis of plates, shells and rotating discs and stress concentrations at holes and fillets.[1] Stodola was a professor of mechanical engineering at the Swiss Polytechnical Institute (now ETH) in Zurich. One of his students was Albert Einstein.[2] In 1892, Stodola founded the Laboratory for Energy Conversion.

Steam and gas turbines[edit]

Stodola's book Steam and Gas Turbines [3] was cited by Soviet rocket scientist Fridrikh Tsander in the 1920s. Published in English in 1927 and reprinted many times up to 1945, it was a basic reference for engineers working on the first generation of jet propulsion engines in the United States.[4] Stodola worked closely with industries on the development of the first practical gas turbines, in particular Brown, Boveri & Cie, who built the first gas turbine-powered electric generator in 1939.[5]

Medical equipment[edit]

In 1915–1916 Stodola collaborated with Ferdinand Sauerbruch a German surgeon to develop an advanced mechanically driven prosthetic arm. This collaboration marked one of the first documented examples of a surgeon and engineer merging efforts. Sauerbruch said, "Henceforth, surgeon, physiologist, and technician (prosthetist/engineer) will have to work together."[6]


Corresponding member of French Academy of Sciences.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Rao, S., "Mechanical Vibrations", Addison-Wesley, Wokingham, England, Third Edition, 1995.
  2. ^ "Osobnosti Pýcha inžinierstva celého sveta Aurel Stodola: Moje city nikdy neochabli pre môj národ" (in Slovak). Archived from the original on 15 September 2009. Retrieved 23 September 2009.
  3. ^ (Aurel Stodola (1945), Steam and gas turbines, New York: P. Smith, OL 18625767M)
  4. ^ Dawson, V.P., Engines and Innovation: Lewis Laboratory and American Propulsion Technology. NASA SP-4306, 1991.
  5. ^ Early Gas Turbine History at
  6. ^ Childress, D.S., Development of rehabilitation engineering over the years: As I see it. Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development, 2002, 39(6, Supplement):1–10.

External links[edit]